Jennifer Wanner, "Florigeium: Brassica rapa, Glycine max, Gossypium hirsutum, Nicotiana tabacum, Zea mays", 2009
Jennifer Wanner, "Florigeium: Brassica rapa, Glycine max, Gossypium hirsutum, Nicotiana tabacum, Zea mays", 2009. Watercolour on paper; 38.75" x 23.75"
Jennifer Wanner: Immuto
September 7 to November 10, 2012
Opening Reception: Friday, September 7 at 7:00 pm
Artist Talk: Saturday, September 8 at 1:00 pm
The Latin verb immuto connotes a transformation, alteration, or exchange. It is also the apt title of artist Jennifer Wanner's upcoming exhibition at the Dunlop Art Gallery, a visual cornucopia of permutated plant species, whose lengthy Latin names hint at their multiple and mutant lineages. Wanner's botanical watercolours and stop-motion video collages compare composite strategies used by 17th century floral still life painters and those of contemporary plant biotechnologists, who work to re-envision "the natural". Like the still life painter who creates images of idealized bouquets containing flowers that would not blossom at the same time, scientists are now able to create a veritable bouquet of new plant species, modifying the genetic structure of the food crops we grow and consume. Wanner depicts imaginary hybrid life forms, spliced together from Internet images of frequently genetically modified species such as corn, soy, tobacco and cotton. Her delicate yet monstrous florae problematize Western philosophical traditions that presuppose the categories of "nature" and "culture" are distinct and fixed, noting humanity's past and present efforts to control the natural world. In doing so, her work underscores an urgent need for critical discussion about biotechnology and the role it plays in consumer culture.
About the Artist:
Jennifer Wanner is a Calgary-based artist whose work incorporates collage, watercolour, and animation in an interdisciplinary context. Her work is invested in the politics and practices of art history as well as contemporary scientific discourse. Wanner holds a BFA in Drama from the University of Calgary (1995), a BFA in Visual Arts from the Alberta College of Art and Design (1999) and an MFA from the University of Western Ontario (2009). She has exhibited widely in Alberta and throughout Canada, and her work will be included in the upcoming 2013 Alberta Biennial at the Art Gallery of Alberta.